Categories
ARCs Reviews

ARC Review: Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

Review by: Paige

Rating: ★ ★

I received an advanced copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much to Wendy Lamb Books for providing this galley!

Publication Date: April 1, 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis: A lyrical and heartfelt collection by an award-winning writer that connects the lives of young people from small towns in Alaska and the American west. Each story is unique, yet universal.

In this book, the impact of wildfire, a wayward priest, or a mysterious disappearance ricochet across communities, threading through stories. Here, ordinary actions such as ice skating or going to church reveal hidden truths. One choice threatens a lifelong friendship. Siblings save each other. Rescue and second chances are possible, and so is revenge.

On the surface, it seems that nothing ever happens in these towns. But Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock shows that underneath that surface, teenagers’ lives blaze with fury, with secrets, and with love so strong it burns a path to the future. 

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Anticipated Releases of 2021 Recommendations

Our 12 Most Anticipated YA Releases of March 2021

2021 is moving at lightning speed already, and here we are in March. Again. But another month means it’s time for us to spotlight our most anticipated and the most anticipated YA releases of March 2021! With these YA books on your TBR or tucked away in your shelves, we guarantee this March will improve upon that last one.

Missed our previous months’ picks? Check them out below!

January // February


YA Releases of March 2021

Rule of Wolves (King of Scars #2) by Leigh Bardguo

Publication Date: March 30, 2021

Grishaverse fans, rejoice! Yet another installment will be arriving at your doorstep, and it couldn’t come at a better time—just a few weeks after publication the much-anticipated Shadow & Bone series will be hitting Netflix and, we hope immediately, your screens.

But first, there’s some business to take care of in the explosive finale to the King of Scars duology, Bardugo’s latest Grisha effort that focuses on the beloved Nikolai Lantsov.

King. General. Spy. Together they must find a way to forge a future in the darkness. Or watch a nation fall.

Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #2) by Holly Jackson

Publication Date: March 2, 2021

Good Girl, Bad Blood may have already hit shelves in its native UK, but we can’t pass up a chance to remind you that it’s about to hit our own waters in the US this month.

If you haven’t hopped on the A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder train yet, it’s time to board. We recently did, and we can vouch for just how solid and engrossing a read it was. We may be about to get our hands on #2, but #3 and #4 feel torturously far away.

Pip may have thought she laid down her detective skills after releasing a podcast detailing her crime-solving ways, but as it turns out, there’s always a new case to solve. And this one will hit close to home. Again.

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Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday #5: I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin

“A raging thunderstorm of a novel with velvet-rich prose that opens all the wounds of girlhood: haunting, heartbreaking, and at points utterly terrifying, you’ll feel this book deep within your bones long after it strikes.” – Julia Lynn Rubin, author of Trouble Girls

Now that our beloved Wednesday Books has revealed the covers for their Fall 2021 titles, we have even more of a reason to be hungry for Hannah Capin’s next release, I Am Margaret Moore. Foul Is Fair is one of my favorite books in recent memory, and I was so lucky to take part in the blog tour for its release and to get to ask Capin some of my burning questions about her glittering, glinting Macbeth retelling. Her prose absolutely sung, felt almost tangible in its weight and thrilling beauty. And I Am Margaret Moore looks like it’ll deliver on some of those same qualities—especially since Foul Is Fair will be re-published as the re-packaged Golden Boys Beware in tandem with this novel’s publication.

Ghosts? Check. Vengeful girls? Check. A brutal, likely toxic environment now clouded by murder and mystery? Check. The inherent complexity of girlhood? Check. While I could go on and on about all the reasons why this book intrigues me so deeply, I’ll let you find out for yourself why this haunting, brilliant, complex novel already has me wrapped around its finger. I don’t think I’ve been quite this hungry for a release in my life.

Read on for the synopsis and more information on I Am Margaret Moore‘s publication!

Categories
Tags/Memes

WRAP-UP: The New Year’s Resolution Reading Challenge

Well, the time has come to check in on the New Year’s Resoultion Reading Challenge, and I have to admit: this ended up being far more successful than I anticipated. Even when I didn’t read the books I had selected for myself, I found I was achieving reads in many of these categories anyway. This challenge was in the back of my mind every time I picked up a book this year, and for that reason alone I think I might find myself doing more challenges in the future: it really did keep me motivated! But even so, it was not a total success: something I also anticipated. And it pains me to admit I just couldn’t finish something. But let’s go through it!

Thank you again to The Corner of Laura for creating such a fantastic challenge to kick off 2021!

Check out our New Year’s Resolution Reading Challenge post first, then come back here and see how it all shaped up!

The Challenge

EXERCISE: A BOOK WITH 500 PAGES OR MORE (IN ANY EDITION). BONUS CHALLENGE—READ A BOOK WITH 800 PAGES OR MORE.

So, as I anticipated, I did not in fact read Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman. In fact, I didn’t even touch it. Oops. I read a few ARCs that were over 500 pages because of the way the system was loading the page numbers, but none of those were actually over 500 pages, so I definitely cannot count it. And no physical book over 500 pages was in my hands this past month or so. Oops. Again. But don’t worry: I’ll be back for this by the end of the year.


LEARN A NEW SKILL: A BOOK FROM A GENRE YOU NEVER USUALLY READ. BONUS CHALLENGE—BOOK FROM A GENRE OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE THAT WAS PUBLISHED IN 2020/21.

I did in fact read In Five Years by Rebecca Serle. I actually read it all last night, as my final push to complete one more book for this challenge, and also because I couldn’t tear my eyes away from it. And not for good reason.

I really, really did not like this book. You can read my Goodreads review here (though beware of significant spoilers) but I couldn’t move past how poor the portrayal of illness was in this book. It was increasingly frustrating, and this book enraged me the way Me Before You did. What others saw as moving, I just loathed. Stepping out of my comfort zone backfired, y’all.

Categories
Mystery Reviews

Review: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Review by: Paige

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

Synopsis: For readers of Kara Thomas and Karen McManus, an addictive, twisty crime thriller with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about a closed local murder case that doesn’t add up, and a girl who’s determined to find the real killer–but not everyone wants her meddling in the past.

Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.

Categories
Recommendations

18 Can’t-Miss YA Books for Fans of Riverdale

Confession: I love Riverdale. Not in an ironic way, not in a casual way, not in an “it’s objectively bad but fun to watch” way. I genuinely, truly love Riverdale, and think it’s one of the greatest television shows ever made. It operates on so many levels, is so intricately plotted, and if I even began to get into the Jarchie Longcon and the long, storied past behind the show and of creator and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, it would derail this whole post. But if you know me at all, even a little, you know all this. So this post feels a bit inevitable.

No matter where you stand on the epic highs and lows of Riverdale and Archie Comics, one thing is for sure: it knows how to deliver. It’s so easy for Riverdale to get its claws in you and leave you anxious for more because you never really know for certain where it’s going. If you’re looking for more content that promises the same timeless, retro aesthetic, romances as complicated as Archie and Veronica and Betty and Jughead’s, or you’re just looking for a really good mystery (or two) to solve, here are 18 YA books all fans of Riverdale need to pick up next. With Riverdale‘s seven-year timeskip about to hit, if you’re itching to spend more time in their teen years, these reads will keep you there.


Trouble Girls by Julia Lynn Rubin

Trouble Girls may not publish until June, but it needs to find a spot on your TBR ASAP. A reimagined Thelma & Louise marketed with the neon aesthetic of Riverdale, how can you pass up this thrilling, energetic joy ride of a book?

When best friends Trixie and Lux take off for a weekend getaway out of their dead-end small town, they never imagine that just one night will transform them into wanted fugitives and unexpected poster children for the #MeToo movement. As their journey takes increasingly dangerous turn after turn, and with the cops hot on their heels, they’ll discover that the only ones they can rely on are each other.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

What is there to say about Sadie that has not already been said? What more praise could we possibly lavish on this breathtaking, true-crime-podcast-boom inspired book? Probably not much, but if you’ve somehow missed out on this one, we once again urge you to read it. Now. Jughead would.

After Sadie’s sister Mattie is found dead, a botched police investigation makes Sadie her sister’s only hope. She sets out to track down the killer and make him pay for what he did, and she’s willing to risk it all to find out the truth.

When radio personality West McCray catches wind of Sadie’s story, he begins an investigative, Serial-like podcast into her disappearance. Tracing her journey to bring her sister’s killer to justice, West is determined to find Sadie—before it may be too late.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Like Riverdale, The Hazel Wood appears to be one thing on the surface, until it suddenly takes you somewhere else entirely.

When Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of dark, instant-cult-classic fairy tales, dies suddenly at her estate, The Hazel Wood, Alice imagines her life can’t get much worse—until her mom is stolen away by one of her grandmother’s fictional creations and whisked off to a new world.

Warned to stay away from the estate, going there may be Alice’s mom’s only help. With the help of a Hinterland superfan, Alice will finally venture into her grandmother’s world of nightmares.

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

One boy. Two girls. We’ve heard this story before, right? But never quite like this. Wicked, spellbinding, and begging for its secrets to be solved, this book is everything a Riverdale fan could want and more.

Midnight is caught between two girls: fiery, mysterious Wink, and beautiful, manipulative queen bee Poppy. Something happened, and someone knows the truth. But someone, too, is lying. This spindly book keeps its secrets close to its chest until finally arriving at its terrible, explosive end.

Categories
ARCs Contemporary Reviews

ARC Review: Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher

Review by: Paige

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

I received an advanced copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for providing this galley!

Publication Date: February 16, 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.

In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.

When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.

Ashley Schumacher’s devastating and beautiful debut, Amelia Unabridged, is about finding hope and strength within yourself, and maybe, just maybe, falling in love while you do it.

Categories
Anticipated Releases of 2021 Recommendations

Our 15 Most Anticipated YA Releases of February 2021

Another month has arrived, which means it’s time for us to spotlight our most anticipated and the most anticipated YA releases of February 2021! If you missed January’s picks, check them out here. But be warned: you’ll need to make some serious room on your TBR for all the incredible YA books coming out this month.


YA Releases of February 2021

The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna

Publication Date: February 9, 2021

One of the most hotly anticipated YA Fantasy releases this month and this year, the first book in the Deathless series follows sixteen-year-old Deka, whose blood runs gold when it should run red.

During the ceremony that should mark Deka as belonging to her village, her blood runs a color that promises doom. But when a mysterious woman offers Deka the chance to join an army of rare, gifted girls like her, she leaves everything she knows behind. But what lies ahead will prove itself entirely unexpected.

Muse (Muse #1) by Brittany Cavallaro

Publication Date: February 2, 2021

From the author of the wicked fun Charlotte Holmes series comes this first book in a duology set in an alternate monarchical America.

1893. The First American Kingdom. Claire Emerson’s father is preparing to show off a new weapon that is sure to bring acclaim to their family and province, but he’s been keeping his daughter under his thumb to create it. He believes it is her touch that gives his inventions power, but Claire has had enough of being controlled. She’s ready to escape, even if it means leaving her best friend and a burgeoning resistance behind.

But when her father’s weapon fails to fire on the day of the World’s Fair, Claire is taken captive by a young and hungry ruler. And once again, she is made someone’s muse against her will. But her world is changing at a whim, and Claire has a choice to make: will she remake it in the right image, or will she burn it all down?

Categories
ARCs Contemporary Reviews

ARC Review: Wider than the Sky by Katherine Rothschild

Review by: Paige

Rating: ★ ★

Cover of Wider than the Sky by Katherine Rothschild

I received an advanced copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much to Soho Teen for providing this galley!

Publication: January 19, 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis: In the wake of sudden tragedy, twin sisters uncover a secret that rips open their world. Katherine Rothschild explores the pain and power of forgiveness in a stunning debut novel that will shatter your heart and piece it back together, one truth at a time.

Sixteen-year-old Sabine Braxton doesn’t have much in common with her identical twin, Blythe. When their father dies from an unexpected illness, each copes with the loss in her own way—Sabine by “poeting” (an uncontrollable quirk of bursting into poetry at inappropriate moments) and Blythe by obsessing over getting into MIT, their father’s alma mater. Neither can offer each other much support . . . at least not until their emotionally detached mother moves them into a ramshackle Bay Area mansion owned by a stranger named Charlie.

Soon, the sisters unite in a mission to figure out who Charlie is and why he seems to know everything about them. They quickly make a life-changing discovery: their father died of an HIV- related infection, Charlie was his lover, and their mother knows the whole story. The revelation unravels Sabine’s world, while practical Blythe seems to take everything in stride. Once again at odds with her sister, Sabine chooses to learn all she can about the father she never knew. Ultimately, she must decide if she can embrace his last wish for their family legacy—along with forgiveness.

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Anticipated Releases of 2021 Recommendations

Our 10 Most Anticipated YA Releases of January 2021

Now that 2021 is upon us, there are tons of incredible YA books about to be released, some already published and ready to be grabbed off the shelves! This year, we decided to spotlight our most anticipated and the most hotly anticipated YA releases for every month of 2021. While we’re already a good way into January, there is still half a month of reading left before us, and February to look forward to. Read on to see what we’re looking forward to devouring this month!


YA Releases of January 2021

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Publication Date: January 5, 2021

We are so excited to dive into Alexandra Bracken’s newest release. As fans of her The Darkest Minds trilogy, this looks to be another stunner, and who isn’t a fan of Greek mythology retellings, especially ones as original as this? A sweeping tale of love and redemption set against a truly epic world infused with the spirit of the Greek gods, we’re glad this one is published so soon into the year, because we could not bear to wait any longer.

Concrete Rose (The Hate U Give #0) by Angie Thomas

Publication Date: January 12, 2021

Angie Thomas is back with what is sure to be another incredible masterpiece of a novel. Taking place seventeen years before the events of her stunning debut novel The Hate U Give, Concrete Rose is said to be a “searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood,” and we are certain everyone will find themselves agreeing.

Categories
ARCs Contemporary Reviews Romance

ARC Review: A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Review by: Paige

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much to Atheneum Books for Young Readers for providing this galley!

Publication: November 10, 2020 (Now published!)

*OwnVoices for Cuban Representation*

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis: For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.

Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell.

A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.

Categories
Contemporary Fantasy Reviews

Review: Burn by Patrick Ness

Review by: Paige

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy

Synopsis: On a cold Sunday evening in early 1957, Sarah Dewhurst waited with her father in the parking lot of the Chevron gas station for the dragon he’d hired to help on the farm…

Sarah Dewhurst and her father, outcasts in their little town of Frome, Washington, are forced to hire a dragon to work their farm, something only the poorest of the poor ever have to resort to.

The dragon, Kazimir, has more to him than meets the eye, though. Sarah can’t help but be curious about him, an animal who supposedly doesn’t have a soul, but who is seemingly intent on keeping her safe.

Because the dragon knows something she doesn’t. He has arrived at the farm with a prophecy on his mind. A prophecy that involves a deadly assassin, a cult of dragon worshippers, two FBI agents in hot pursuit—and somehow, Sarah Dewhurst herself.